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jimcolyer Bolivia - A travel report by Jim
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Bolivia,  Australia - flag Australia -  New South Wales
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jimcolyer's travel reports

Bolivia 2012

  2 votes
I flew to Bolivia for the Southern Skies Star Party on Lake Titicaca. I wanted to see the southern stars and constellations one more time. It was awesome.

July 14, 2012, I flew American Airlines to Miami, and LAN Airlines through Lima, Peru, to Bolivia for a star party in the Andes Mountains. My goal was to have a second experience with the southern stars and constellations. There were 8 of us on Jen Winter's astronomy tour. We stayed at the Inca Utama Hotel on Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America. We were at 12,000 feet in the Andes, where views of the night skies are awesome. The Milky Way was straight up, arching from one end of the sky to the other.

We took a day trip to Tiwanaku, a pre-Columbian archaeological site. It was before the Incas. Puma Punku is a temple, or pyramid, at Tiwanaku. There were no signs of ancient aliens. Ruins are ruins are ruins.

Myself and two others climbed a hill (should I say mountain) to look at the Andes range. A panoramic view of Lake Titicaca was on one side with snow-capped mountains on the other. It was the most inspiring part of the trip. We took the wrong path coming down, and I could see the headline: Lost in the Andes! We kept coming toward the lake and finally came across a farmer with a van. He drove us back to the hotel.

Our group visited La Paz, the highest capital city in the world. La Paz sits in a bowl with mountains all around. Population is over a million. We walked the streets of this crazy place. People drive like maniacs and think nothing about walking out in traffic. Dark-skinned women wear wide skirts and bowler hats. Spanish is annoying, and dogs are everywhere. Bolivia is a third-world country. Its currency is the Boliviano. Somehow I got through without having to get any.

Lake Titicaca is partly in Bolivia, partly in Peru. Bolivia is landlocked. I thought it would be nice if Peru offered Bolivia a strip of land to the ocean. Countries are so territorial.

Favourite spots:
Lake Titicaca was a beautiful shade of blue. It reminded me of Lake Tahoe.

What's really great:
The stars of the southern hemisphere. I saw the south pole star, Sigma Octanis, and learned that Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri were known as the eyes of the llama.

The Inca Utama Hotel on Lake Titicaca not far from La Paz in the Andes Mountains.

Pre-Columbian ruins like Tiwanaku and Puma Punku are interesting.

Published on Thursday July 26th, 2012

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Thu, Aug 16 2012 - 01:38 PM rating by bootlegga

This report would be better with photos (especially given its exotic location) - as they say a picture equals 1000 words!

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